Saturday, 20 August 2011

Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

Although I have read and written a review for each of the books in the trilogy, I have also decided to write one for the overall story since the trilogy is basically one long tale.

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fantasy > Erotica > BDSM
Obtained: Purchased at Borders
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Trilogy:
Anne Rice takes the classic Sleeping Beauty tale and places an erotic spin on it. It starts with Beauty being awoken with not only a kiss but something much more invasive. Soon afterwards, she is taken to a nearby kingdom to become a sex slave. There she is humiliated and punished as she learns the ins and outs if servitude. However, by the end of the first book, Beauty disobeys her Prince and is sent off to the village, where she not only has to be sexually pleasing but is also expected to put in hard labour. Meanwhile, she debates whether to be a good slave or not. At the end of the second book though Beauty and a few other slaves are captured and are brought to an Arabic kingdom where she becomes part of one large anonymity where the slaves are treated no better than animals and decoration. Eventually, Beauty and couple of others are brought back to Europe, but even then they still have more turmoils to face.

Rating: 6/10 Stars
First off, if you dislike gay sex, BDSM, or large amounts of sex in your books, stay away from this. With that being said, this story was something of a bore. Being both a fan of Anne Rice and BDSM, I had expected this trilogy to thrill me like no other. However, most of this tale was nothing more than repetitive sex and punishments. Although I had expected lots of sex (this is an erotica after all), I had also expected some characterization and plot. Now, I am not asking for the grandest plot in the world, and I guess the one Rice gave us was all right, but there still was no characterization at all. There was never a sense of the characters besides a basic outline, most of which consisted of "Woe! How humiliating! Why do I put up with this? This is amazing. How I aim to please" and then back to Woe! often times all in one paragraph. We are also given no breaks in between the sexual escapades, making then blend into the work even more instead of slamming us with a literary orgasm. As I said, lots of sex was expected, but with the flimsy plot, the sheer amount of it one after another, and the lack of any sort of characterization, this trilogy ended up reading more like porn than actual erotica.

Anne Rice also had a habit of introducing characters to us and then having them randomly dropped and never really seen again. This is worst in books one to two, but three is just as guilty. For example, we are introduced to Prince Alexei in the first book, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, and we even get three chapters completely dedicated to him yet by the end, Beauty completely forgets about him and finds a new slave prince to obsess over. Afterwards Alexei is not even mentioned until the end of the third book.

The characters also seem to have gotten their idea of love from Anita Blake: control equals love. I lost count of how many Masters and Mistresses Beauty had fallen in love with, and the only couple I really believed was Tristan and Nicolas though I wonder if Nicolas' love is unrequited. Either way, I really wish we had followed Tristan through the entire story instead of Beauty. 

Now, this is not the worst "erotica" I have ever read, but it definitely falls short of what it could have been. It seems like Rice did not really try and simply penned a bunch of smut. I would honestly suggest to not waste your money, and if you like a BDSM style and yaoi/gay sex, I would suggest Ai No Kusabi instead, which has tantalizing sex scenes, good sense of characters, and a well thought out plot.

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